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Tunbridge Wells Parish

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Your Online Parish Clerk for Tunbridge Wells is:  VACANT.  

Tunbridge Wells is, ecclesiastically, in the diocese of Canterbury, in the archdeaconry of Canterbury and in the deanery of South Malling.  The church is named for St Charles the Martyr with original parish registers commencing 1745.

Tunbridge Wells, a town, six chapelries, and a sub-district, in Tunbridge district, Kent.  The town stands on the Tunbridge and Hastings railway, 5 miles south of Tunbridge;  consists chiefly of parts of Tunbridge and Speldhurst parishes;  includes also part of the Sussex parish of Frant;  originated in the discovery of medicinal springs, in the time of James I, by Dudley Lord North;  took the name of Tunbridge Wells from the circumstance that persons frequenting its springs could, for a time, find no lodgings nearer than Tunbridge;  was visited, in 1630, by Queen Henrietta Maria, attended by a large suite;  attracted, during the next 30 years, considerable numbers of illustrious visitors, who all were obliged either to camp on the downs or to lodge at Southborough;  began, at the close of the reign of Charles I, to acquire numerous buildings for the accommodation of visitors;  was, toward the end of the reign of Charles II, a resort of Queen Catherine of Braganza, and of other distinguished persons;  was visited also by Queen Anne;  rose to pre-eminent celebrity in connexion with visits by Cibber, Johnson, Garrick, Richardson, and other leaders of the literary world;  was visited in 1834 by the Princess Victoria and the Duchess of Kent, and in 1849 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert;  assured, after the commencement of the present century, the proportions of a town;  was materially improved in 1847, by the erection of a portico or piazza in front of its chief spring, and by the formation there of a broad and handsome parade;  contributes health to its visitors by at once the chalybeate quality of its waters, the purity of its climate, the picturesqueness of its environs, and a wide command of interesting walks;  is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling place;  publishes three weekly newspapers, carries on a manufacture of "Tunbridge ware";  includes fine ranges of private dwellings, several extensive parks, and numerous mansions and villas;  contains a house in which Lord North resided after his retirement, another in which Richard Cumberland lived more than 20 years, another in which Popeís Duke of Chandos died;  and has a head post office with a savings bank and money order office;a railway station with telegraph, three other banking offices, seven chief hotels, a town hall, a handsome and lofty assembly room, a neat corn exchange, a police station, a literary and scientific institution with two reading rooms and a good library, a mechanicsí institute, six churches, six dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a cemetery, eleven public schools, an infirmary and dispensary, a weekly market on Friday and races in August.  Population in 1851, 10, 587;  in 1861, 13,807.  Houses, 2,493.

The chapelries are Chapel of Ease, Trinity, St. James, St. John, Christchurch and St. Mark.  The livings are perpetual curacies in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value of St. John, £130 with a habitable glebe house;  of the others not reported.  Patrons of Chapel of Ease and St. John, Trustees;  of Trinity, Mrs. Deacon;  of St. James, the Incumbent of Trinity;  of Christchurch, the Rev. T. W. Franklyn.

The Chapel of Ease is ancient.  Trinity church was built in 1827, at a cost of £12,000;  and is in the early English style.  St. Jamesí also is modern;  St. Johnís was built in 1858;  Christchurch, in 1841;  St. Marks in 1866.

The sub-district contains Speldhurst, Ashurst and Bidborough parishes, and part of Tunbridge.  Population in 1851, 13,709;  in 1861, 17,656.  Houses 3,285. 1
1John Marius Wilson, comp. The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales.  (London, England:  A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).


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